I suppose you can call me a struggling “Mompreneur.” *CRINGE* I know, it’s one of those words I thought I would never use.
One reason I have a problem with it is that it’s uttered too loosely.
There are some extreme mompreneurs out there, busting their behinds running their own businesses, often from home, with three kids attached to the hip. Go moms! Now that I have a baby, I am humbled by these women. I have a whole new perspective on just how hard it is to be a mom while trying to find a work/life balance.
Then there are the hobbyist mompreneur mom bloggers, who live in glamorous places like San Francisco or Manhattan, where the cost of living is higher than Seth Rogen on a Sunday, and yet these moms can still afford to stay home without an income. They call themselves “mompreneurs” because they’ve figured out how to sell something on Etsy a couple times a year. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with focusing 100% on your kids. In fact, if you can afford to do that, I’m envious. Keep it up. “They hate us ‘cuz they ain’t us”* is all about you. But…
…Let’s be real. “Mompreneur” is a colloquial term that combines “mom” and “entrepreneur.” An entrepreneur launches his or her own business and manages to make cold hard stacks of cash. So if there’s no real money involved, you’re not really a mompreneur.
The second problem I have with the word is the implication that if you are not a mompreneur running your own business, but are instead a woman pursuing a career in the corporate world, you are not giving the appropriate attention to your children at home. There are some seriously hard-working moms who pound the pavement to provide for their families, and have to leave their children at a daycare center for 40+ hours during the work week. Then they go home to job#2, being mama. There’s nothing wrong with that either. As one of those, free-spirited artsy types who has only liked two jobs in my life (all my other jobs were soul-sucking cages), I’m jealous if you’ve found long-term fulfillment within a company…or can even just tolerate your job for more than two years.
Whatever kind of mom you are, that’s fine by me. As long as you are taking care of your children financially, or physically, or both… I respect you. Being a parent is the hardest thing I’ve done, and I’ve barely begun. When you’re a mom, it’s a challenge to accomplish anything for yourself. Case and point: I’ve had to breastfeed and change four diapers while attempting to write this blog post.
(My view at work)
I guess I like to think of the term “mompreneur” as someone who works mostly from home (probably with a baby on her lap, like me right now), but who is legitimately making money from her business ventures. Her business model is likely inspired by her children, and she has found a way to profit from that inspiration. She is probably creative, and has something valuable and unique to contribute to the world.
That is what a mompreneur is to me and who I’m striving to be. I’m trying to continue my freelance graphic design gig at home (as I can’t afford to be at home without working), but I’m also trying to launch my own online business inspired by my son. More on that later.
*The best part of The Interview is when Eminem makes a cameo.